Beer in the Valley

A brief history of brewing in the Mahoning Valley

1846 -- The first brewery in Youngstown is opened on Federal Street by John Smith, a native of Staffordshire, England.

1865 -- Philip Schuh and John Bayer open a brewery on Pike Street in Youngstown near the Mahoning River.

1885 -- John Bayer's brewery, closed for two years, is bought by George J. Renner.

1890 -- After a fire at the Renner brewery, a new state-of-the-art facility with an 18,000-barrel capacity opens on Pike Street.

1914 -- Renner Brewing Co. incorporates.

1925 -- The Smith Brewery closes after 79 years, one of many small breweries that became casualties of Prohibition.

1934 -- Youngstown Brewing Co. opens at the corner of North and Rayen avenues. Its Crystal Top beer becomes one of the cheapest beers in the region at $2.75 a case.

1935 -- George Renner dies; son Emil "Spitz" Renner takes over family business.

1950s -- "Sneaky Pete" becomes Renner mascot. Allegedly, he is so named because the alcohol content in Renner beers sneak up on drinkers.

1962 -- Renner Brewery closes. Product names continue on for another dozen years after being bought by Old Crown of Fort Wayne, Ind.

1988 -- Great Lakes Brewery -- the first microbrewery in the state of Ohio -- opens in Cleveland.

1991 -- The Valley's first brewpub opens, Meander Brewery on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown. Original products include Meander Gold, Idora Dark and Smoky Hollow Amber.

1993 -- The Meander Brewery closes.

1997 -- The Ohio Brewing Co., a brewpub run by Mike and Chris Verich, opens in Warren.

1998 -- Cardinal Ale, a product made by the Ohio Brewing Co., wins a gold medal at the World Beer Championship in Chicago. Ohio Fest and Stout each win silver medals.

1999 -- The Ohio Brewing Co. closes in Niles. Beer continues to be made.

2002 -- The Ohio Brewing Co. sets up shop at the B&O Station on Mahoning Avenue in Youngstown. The Veriches leave, ultimately opening a brewpub in Akron, and Robert Arroyo and Joe Pedaline run the microbrewery/restaurant

2004 -- The B&O Station closes.

Source: Brewing Beer in the Buckeye State by Robert A. Musson.